Elise Stefanik/Twitter

Doctored photo of GOP congresswoman flipping the bird fools critics 

Critics of Elise Stefanik shared the photo on social media over the weekend.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Nov 17, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 10:47 pm CDT

A picture circulating online over the weekend appeared to show Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) flipping the bird after Friday’s impeachment inquiry.

The alleged photo went viral after being showcased by Twitter user Brian J. O’Malley the day after former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Stefanik posed for this picture as Ambassador Yovanovitch was getting a loud standing ovation after giving testimony yesterday,” the tweet read. “NY21 deserves better than this childish loser.”

In Body Image

But as the photo spread, many began questioning whether it was even real. When one Twitter user suggested that the image might be Photoshopped, O’Malley disagreed “as someone who uses Photoshop daily.”

The photo, however, is entirely fake. And several clues gave it away.

For starters, as noted by Maddie Anderson, one of Stefanik’s staff, the representative was not wearing fingernail polish during the hearing, as is shown in the photo in question.

Secondly, footage of the alleged moment shows that Stefanik never made such a gesture.

A side-by-side of the original image and the doctored photo also began making rounds on Twitter.


George Conway, who is the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, also allegedly shared the photo.

O’Malley, Conway, and several others who shared the photo eventually removed their tweets.

“I took down the picture after of Stefanik after someone pointed me to a graphic artist who had it on his timeline as an example of his ‘work,'” O’Malley tweeted.


O’Malley also apologized to Stefanik in subsequent tweets, although the representative did not respond.


The incident shows once again how quickly inaccurate information can spread in the age of social media.


H/T Snopes

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*First Published: Nov 17, 2019, 1:05 pm CST